Muscle Activation Techniques
General Articles and Testimonials

Articles and Case Studies

To read articles and case studies about Muscle Activation please see the links to the right of this page. We are regularly updating this section so please visit often.


"At 63 years of age I have suffered from frequent lower back pain for around 13 years. During this time I have been almost immobilised by severe muscle spasm on at least 6 occasions. In reality this meant that any movement was extremely painful and in the earlier episodes I confined myself to bed. I later learnt that it was better to try to keep moving but found walking excruciating. Each time I recovered to relative normality without a week or two but the underlying weakness and minor pain still remained.

In the early days of this period I visited a chiropractor some 40 times over a 15 month timescale. The area he focussed on was the sacroiliac joint Pain was particularly severe and continuous at the time and although the treatment brought some relief the specialist could not get to the bottom of the cause. X-rays revealed no helpful information.

I then turned to physiotherapy through the NHS. Part of the treatment offered was self help by using a series of exercises to strengthen the core muscles. This seemed to help initially but it did not lead to a complete recovery.

Two or three years ago I persuaded the NHS to give me an MRI scan. Unfortunately this didn’t provide any useful data, it merely confirmed that the condition is related to soft tissue and muscles rather than the vertebra.

2. Muscle Activation Techniques

Twelve months ago someone suggested that Owen Hedicker might be able to help. At the consultation appointment I was struck by the logic and plausibility of the approach and committed to an initial 5 sessions.

My aim was to able to carry out day to day activities without abnormal pain and certainly without suffering spasm. In particular I wanted to be able to play golf again. This  had been out of the question for the previous 3 years.

Since seeing Owen I have made considerable progress. I have been able to be able to carry out activities such as gardening and lifting with greater effort and without repercussions. I have also recently managed to play golf again which is something I thought would not be possible a year ago.

To supplement the sessions which have been reduced to maintenance appointments Owen has given me some exercises to carry out on a daily basis. I am convinced that these have aided the process.  I have also suffered some difficulties in the last year walking distances of over 10 miles on consecutive days due to long-term knee ligament damage. Owen has given me some valuable advice on managing recovery in this regard, a principle that can also be applied to any back aches which might occur from time to time.

3. Conclusion

There is no doubt in my mind that Owen’s techniques have led to a significant improvement in my ability to carry out day to day activities and enabled me to play golf again.

I would therefore strongly recommend Muscle Activation Technique to anyone that has tried treatments such as physiotherapy, chiropractic and osteopathy and had limited success."
John Course

"When I came to Owen I was suffering from arthritis in the left hip. The hip was very “stuck” and I had limited movement, which also affected my lower back.  I often walked with a limp. I suffered a lot of stiffness, particularly after sitting for some time.  My hip was painful most of the time and often worse at night. I could only lie on one side in bed because my bad hip couldn’t relax down on the other leg, and was often awoken by the pain in my leg when I wanted to change position.  I couldn’t stand with my feet together because of the discomfort and imbalance around the pelvis area, so had to stand with my feet wider apart. Also, when lying down my body would automatically lie in a “banana” shape with both legs pulled towards my bad side.

During treatment:  When I started to receive treatment, most of my body felt sore to the touch. As treatments progressed, I found I had a lot of the tender parts had disappeared. Owen is a very good practitioner who puts you at ease and gives you his full attention during each session. He also offers exercises to be done at home and follow-up care. The treatment process was quite relaxing and immediate relief was felt in tension. I always left the session walking a lot better and more evenly and in less pain.

After treatment I had more movement in the left hip, and because of this I was able to walk with more ease and without a limp.  Because of the work on the muscles, I noticed that my legs felt a lot stronger and I was able to walk much faster and longer than before.

I found I was more comfortable in bed, especially lying on my other hip, which mostly I hadn’t been able to do.  I could stand more centrally and was straighter when lying down.

During this time I was also receiving chiropractic treatment for the problems at my pelvis and back, and the MAT complemented my chiropractic treatment whereby I needed less and less adjustments on each visit.  I found I had greater confidence to dance again and exercise, but also Owen has made me aware of the necessity not to overdo my physical exercise.

I would recommend MAT to anybody who has limited movement, pain or injury, who feels some part of their body is not working as it should or is weaker than it should be."
Sandra Thibault

"I approached Owen Hedicker to request his assistance following a knee injury caused whilst out on a 10 mile run. I was not able to identify what had caused the injury and despite allowing several weeks of rest I was still unable to run more than half a mile without being in pain.

I had six sessions of treatment, in this time Owen worked on building up the support in my hip and knee. Owen also devising a programme of regular exercise that not only helped to built up my strength and fitness levels, but also allowed for adequate rest periods.

Owen offered me invaluable advice on my training habits and how to get the most out of my body.

I have since had a maintenance session to ensure that the problem does not reoccur. The treatment was an absolute success, following Owen’s advice and techniques at home I have found that I have had no reoccurrence of this or any other problem.

I found Owen to offer a professional and effective service that is tailored to the individuals needs. Even after my treatment had concluded Owen continued to be interested in my development and was always happy to make himself available to offer further advice or treatment.

I could not of been happier with the service I received and the outcome of the treatment and I would recommend Owen’s service to a friend."
Kirsty Dineley

"I have been a client of Owen for several years now and seen him develop from a highly competent trainer into an amazing muscle management master. The things he can do are almost shaman like; from releasing my frozen shoulder to fixing a dodgy knee. 

I would highly recommend that you give Owen a try, he can help you get fit, recover, protect your muscles and even improve your golf."

Keith Jones

"I had great difficulty getting out of my car due to pain in the hip, after one session with Owen I could run, walk, cycle and my movements were not at all restricted and I was almost pain free.  A second session saw me completely mobile and pain free.  Try it, you have nothing to lose except pain!"
Jenny Mitchell

"I have had a series of 1 hour sessions with Owen concentrating on my right shoulder. I had experienced for many years pain in my neck and a tightening of muscles on my right side, after the sessions I’ve had no problems.  Repeating the exercises supplied by Owen has improved my suppleness and I now do not have to take pain killers.  I would recommend MAT to a number of my friends in fact have already done so."
Chris. O

"I would like to thank you for your time you have spent with me over the last few weeks in improving my strength and agility using the muscle activation techniques that you employ.  There has been a noticeable improvement in both my lateral movement on the tennis court and in recovery with less joint stiffness after long matches."
Mark. F

"I originally made contact about a problem with my right knee, which had persisted for some months and made walking difficult.  After an initial assessment, Owen identified a problem of mobility in my right ankle and left hip as well as the knee.  He designed a course of MAT and exercise which he explained in detail but simple terms.

Within a couple of sessions I found the problem in my knee had gone away and the mobility in the hip was much improved.  I can now walk without difficulty and undertake a full range of gym exercises without problems.

Throughout the process I have found owen to be most helpful and very professional in his approach.  The technique has certainly been of great benefit to me and I have had no hesitation in recommending it to a number of other people."
Peter. H

"Since experiencing MAT I have gained more strength in my upper right leg, gained more flexibility in my left leg, gained strength in my knees, been able to move without so much of a limp, been able to walk for longer periods without getting back ache, been able to get up off the floor more easily and am generally fitter."
Barbara. D

"I have found the MAT process extremely helpful in assisting me to carry out my gym programme.   I had been experiencing pain in my knees and lower back but with the application of the MAT process, exercising and gardening are virtually pain free now.  I would certainly recommend MAT to anyone who is suffering similar problems."
June. O

"I have undergone a series of MAT sessions to alleviate pain from my shoulder due to a skiing accident.  I already had tried alternative therapies with no long term effectiveness.  With MAT there was an improvement in mobility within one session.

Mat is a gentle treatment which in my case has restored mobility and eased the pain considerably.  Some days I’m unaware of any discomfort at all.

After several sessions, I am now able to change the car gears, lift weights and open doors without concern or consequences.

I would recommend MAT to anyone who wants to retain an active lifestyle and maintain joint mobility."
Dee O.

"I had been experiencing pain and tenderness over my shoulder and visited my GP who advised I probably had a rotator cuff injury. I was having problems raising my arm out to the side, reaching behind and lifting or pulling heavy weights, I had pain at night, particularly when I was sleeping on my side and in the morning my arm was very stiff. My shoulder felt weak and I had a limited range of movement.

I was sent for Physio and had began to see some improvement, unfortunately as my shoulder improved the pain and tenderness moved across to the other side I continued with the physio for many months with a small amount of improvement, but when ever my shoulder and arm was put under a small amount of pressure I was back to square one, I was getting a little fed up by then, as a was unable to participate fully in yoga and was restricted in my gym work. Even normal day to day jobs were painful, carrying sho pping bags, reaching into cupboards and putting out the washing.

A friend recommended Owen and I was more than happy to try a new approach at resolving my problem. The results were great right from the start. I saw Owen once a week and did the daily exercises as instructed, these were very easy and only took up a few minutes twice a day. What I liked about the process was I could physically see the way my shoulder responded to the MAT straight away.

My shoulder and arm are now fully pain free and my movement is excellent, all yoga moves are now possible and the gym work outs have strengthened my shoulder, even weight bearing exercises.

I am extremely pleased with my results and would have no hesitation in recommending Owen who is polite, friendly and very professional."
Carole P.

"Previous injuries and a very manic lifestyle involving lots of travelling and long work hours, left me with a lot of tension in the neck and upper back. The tension restricted my movement and had an impact on the types of exercises and training I could do. I tried a series of different treatments that helped with the pain but didn't seem to help me regain my mobility; not ideal for my goal of regaining optimum fitness and health after injury.

From the first session with Owen, I felt my range of motion improve. Within a short time, the tension and restriction to range of motion had eased to a point where the discomfort was minor. The best part however, was disco vering that the improvements were holding and I was able to progress training without the body breaking down. I can honestly say, I am squatting deeper than ever but more importantly, the improved movement patterns and performance is translating to every day life.

While the notion of someone improving your posture or fixing an injury by simply palpating certain points might seem like magic, I highly recommend the muscle activation technique and in particular, Owen. He is always professional and takes the time to educate his clients. You will be in good hands, literally :)"

Larry Y.

Read an article here from Larry's Personal Trainer.

"I work very long hours in a busy microbiology laboratory and one of my many interests is Tai Chi.  Enduring painful aching feet for quite some time, I approached Owen and discussed this condition.  He immediately noticed the arch in both feet had dropped which would give some explanation.

In the first few weeks of treatment, there was a quick improvement in pain relief with noticeable strengthening of muscle structure in my feet and toes.  Owen has meticulous knowledge of the body’s anatomy and its interaction.  This together with muscle activation techniques (MAT) has greatly improved my lifestyle and has put it back on track in the gym pain free.

I have recently completed an intense Tai Chi  instructor course and noticed a vast improvement in balance, coordination and flexibility in the form, this I can only down to Owen’s special talent.

Thank you Owen"
S. Jarvis.